Kill Rock Stars
Although Second Rekoning•s elegant, silver-speckled foldout cover resembles Spinal Tap and many of its song titles (•Perilous Return,• •Perpetual Saga,• and •Power Up,• from the •Prolock • the Protector• suite) hilariously lampoon the Dungeons & Dragons cliches of metal, calling the album smug, post-ironic kitsch is pretty much a moot point, because the two dudes behind the bass-less C Average can rock, and hard. A duo of guitarist/vocalist Jon Merithew and drummer Brad •Bard• Balsley, C Average have been notorious for busting out, on occasion, full sets of Who and Black Sabbath covers, note-for-note perfect, no less. And, essentially, both bands serve as fairly accurate guideposts for the largely instrumental Second Rekoning, the Olympia, Washington band•s second album proper. With the former, Merithew favors fat, wide-open major chords like Townshend did, and with the latter, they prefer the loose n• rumbling boogie-chug of, say, •Children of the Grave• and •Hole in the Sky• over the drug-addled doom of •Cornucopia• and Sabbath•s self-same song like their stoner rock contemporaries do. When the songs stretch out • and they do, often and magnificently • C Average can get all mathy like Don Caballero and fellow Washingtonians Built To Spill (but rock much harder, natch); other times, the heavy metalled din resembles the jammy power-trio stylings of classic Cream and Blue Cheer (their •Parchment Farm• gets faithfully reconfigured as •Parchmens Farm• here). And, hey, even way-old-school Washingtonians the Sonics get covered in •The Witch,• so there•s another Washington link for ya (What•s next • a collaboration with The Melvins, godheadsilo, or Thrones? We should only be so lucky•). Damn near exhausting, but all the better for it, methinks • coming to a heavy metal vomit party near you.
Kill Rock Stars, 120 N.E. State Ave., PMB 418, Olympia, WA 98501; http://www.killrockstars.com